To give away money is an easy matter and in any man’s power. But to decide to whom to give it, and how large, and when, and for what purpose and how, is neither in any man’s power nor an easy matter…
- Aristotle

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The last of the trip, home and thanks

We are home now. I didn't get to post much as it was so hard to type on that little computer but I will fill in the blanks!
The last few days in Taiwan were spent.. yes, eating!! LOL... I made Jeb bring us back to that great restaurant we went the second night.. I am sitting here drooling thinking how can I cook that food here at home??
Anyways we did make it to Taipei 101 and a Jade market on Saturday. And we did see some really cook fireworks on Saturday night.. but we were in a hurry to get to the restaurant so we didn't see all of them!!
Then on Sunday Jeb, LiLing and Mia came to get us at the hotel.. final check out and then to lunch with Mia's friend Tina (she was an exchange student last year also but didn't stay the whole year.. but I have been emailing with her so I wanted to meet her finally!!) We did lunch and then headed to the airport.
Kara's mom and dad met us there and we said our good byes.. I really started to cry because I was so upset about not seeing Mia for so long!! We have made a promise between families that Mia will come to the US for her 21st birthday in 2011 and then I am going to start saving and saving so we can go over there in 2012 for the winter time to go to Harbin to see the ice city!!
So away we went for the LONGEST ride home ever. I don't get the whole thing.. going there to Asia takes 22 hours.. but coming home only take 16?? BUT we had a 10 HOUR layover in LA! We were so tired! I finally told Jay that I didn't care what we looked like I needed to sleep.. so we went to a corner area and layed our blanket down and the baby and I fell asleep.. Jay stayed awake and stood guard ... but it wasn't a good sleep.. then on the plane.. they turn the heat up to make the passengers sleep.. I was so miserable! For whatever reason.. and in all the traveling I have done this has never happened.. but my ankles swelled up on the flight..
But then we arrived in Orlando.. Chris came to pick us up and Cooper gave him a big smile!! We got home and both big girls came outside to greet us.. then Chase and Ali came out still rubbing their eyes.. but within minutes we were in the house unpacking and playing and everything just seemed NORMAL!!
Cooper LOVES Chase!! Ali shows signs of jealousy! But Cooper seemed to love our house.. he just started running around to every room like he had been here before.. and then sat down and started to play with the toys.
We went to have Chicken Wings with Haseena last night so that Cooper could say hi..
And it is crazy.... having 5 kids!! (that includes Kara our exchange student!! )LOL!!!!
Many thanks to all the adoption families that helped us out, to Mia and her mom and dad for being WONDERFUL host and tour guides and to Bethany and the girls in Kansas that helped us out with our adoption!!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Spent the day eating.. AGAIN!

We had a wonderful day.. again! Started out getting to Skype with all our kids back home (excpet Amanda) and then getting ready to hit the road. We headed out to find a bank to exchange the last of our US currency only to find out we needed our passport. So Jay headed back to the hotel while Cooper and I found the little bakery.. the man there kept talking to Cooper and then gave him some chocolate cakes.. we bought this really neat "sandwich" and another little roll. Total amount was $1.00. When Jay got back we went to the bank did the exchange and then headed out to explore while we were waiting on Jeb to come and get us. We found a place that was really clean and nice for eggs and coffee. It was so good.
Then Jeb called and said he would be there in a few minutes so we headed back to the meeting spot.
First stop was this mall where a ferris wheel sits on top ( I will have to find out from Jay what it was called) but it didn't open for about half an hour so we went for lunch!! LOL.. Really Jeb ate, I tried a bit of everything, Cooper tried a bit of everything and Jay just watched!! Cooper loves Cola!! .. I know .. shame on me.. but I bribe him with the soda for kisses!
Then we headed to the ferris wheel.. both guys, Jeb and Jay said.. Oh, I am afraid of heights.. I said TOUGH, you are going!! So I got the three tickets and we got in line.. your choice was a glass bottom car or not a glass bottom. I voted for glass bottom but both of them said NO GLASS BOTTOM..
It was beautiful up there. The mountains all around.
Then we were heading to Taipei 101 but it was getting later so we headed over towards Mia's school. We were early so we stopped at McDonalds for coffee, a soda and french fries for Cooper.
Then we went to visit the University that Mia will attend next year and then on to Mia's school. While we were waiting all the kids were coming out.. they would say "Hi" and then start to laugh... we were having so much fun with the little kids.
Some would ask us where we were from and some would say.. Look at the foriegner's!!
When Mia came out we headed over to the night market so we could EAT AGAIN!! LOL
It is only 8:30 and we are showered and back in our pj's.. it was such a busy day and so tiring!!
Cooper is snuggled up on daddy right now.. he is still bonding to Jay a whole bunch.. even though I am the one feeding him!! LOL

Thursday, November 5, 2009

AIT Appointment

Wednesday was our AIT appointment. Again nothing that I was expecting. A building like a courthouse with teller windows like a bank. We get called up and sign a few things, the wait, then get called up and sign a few things, answer a few questions, then wait, then get called up again to talk to an American lady and answer a few more questions.. none that I would have expected her to ask... but that was it! Then we filled out a form for a courier to bring his papers to us and out we went.
I guess he was ours on Monday... I am not really sure when the official "Adoption" day was??
Then LiLing and Mia picked us up at the park right down the road and off we went to eat again!! It was a neat place. A pot of broth in the middle of the table and they would bring all this meat to cook at the table. We ate like piggy poos. Then we went on the MRT to a far corner of Taipei to a shopping area. I liked this place as it was more Asian stuff.. more of a tourist spot!!
We got our feet done again at a place where the workers were all blind.. but it was awful.. Jay's feet have black and blue marks on the bottom from the massager person pushing and squeezing so hard!!
Then back on the MRT to go meet Jeb and LiLing for more food!! We went to a restaurant that was more like a Kobe's Steak house.. Japanese style. The food was so good but Jay didn't eat.. he has been eating so much all week that it finally caught up with him. I felt bad for Jeb as he was so excited about this restaurant. But we don't eat like this at home and it has been too much on the system!!
Mia said that they eat so much all the time.. so how is it that they weight NOTHING and I am so fat???
Anyways it was an early night.
Then on Thursday I got up and got Cooper dressed, Jay stayed in bed and we waited for the courier to show up with the passport and papers. As soon as we got the stuff Cooper and I set out on an adventure.. alone.
First stop was McDonalds! He loves the fries! Then we went to get his hair cut. And then we started to walk, and walk and walk... after about 3 hours I finally called Jeb and told him that I was lost!! The roads don't run north and south but in every direction and everything looks the same and I was confused!! But then while I was on the phone with Jeb I saw a building that said FE21.. which is where I was going. After looking around and having ice cream we went out front and took a taxi back to the hotel.. only took ten minutes!! LOL
Then we got cleaned up and Jeb came to pick us up so that we could go to Mia's school and get her and then out to dinner with Kara's mom and dad!!!
It was a wonderful dinner!! We were so happy to meet Kara's parents and they were very outgoing and wonderful.. not quite and shy like their kid!! I have to talk to her when we get back!! Just a perfect night!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Birth Mother

Today was draining. We went to Cathwel at 9:30 to meet the birth mom. She was coming in from an area south of Taipei so she was about an hour plus late. Cooper was happy on daddy's lap and I didn't try to get in the way.. I wanted them to walk in and see him happy.
LiLing and a family friend took us there this morning and stayed to translate. When the time arrived it was the birth mom, the sister and the grandmother. At first it was just smiling and nodding.. a few things were translated but I don't think anyone really knew what to say.. small talk.
Then the grandmother told the translators to explain to us about why they were letting Cooper go to America. We had read their profile and knew the story but out of the three woman I know this was the hardest on the grandmother... after all she had raised two children.
She asked us "WHY HIM??" Why would we take a child that has a heart problem where there are so many other children that need homes.. and we told her because he is the one that stole our hearts.
We were there for an hour and I feel that it helped them, meeting us. They did want to know if we would adopt again.. which I answered, "No, Cooper will be the last" but that wasn't a fair answer because no on knows what tomorrow will bring and someday there might be another.. but maybe my answer wasn't a lie because at this moment we have no plans for more. We have a great family and Cooper was the icing on the cake!!
So the worker for the orphanage finally said the meeting was over and that we should be on our way.. and I think that there was nothing more to say.. it was just time. And we left the building first.
So now the two boys are asleep on the bed.. both needed this sleep! One was really crabby and the other... well they both needed this nap!! LOL

He is ours!

I have to say it was not anything I expected. I was so excited I could not sleep and even with the long flight and all the walking we did Sunday I was up by 4:30 AM Monday morning. Jay had to get up also because the hotel lights are so confusing... if I need a light.. ALL the lights go on...not sure what we are doing wrong!! LOL
So after getting my paper done for my psychology class we got in the shower and dressed and then headed out to explore this area.
Mia was meeting us at 9 AM and she had arranged a car to take us to Cathwel. Jay and I spent our few hours walking around, trying to order breakfast and talking to a cute young boy that I tried to hook up for Mia!! LOL
At 9 Mia and our taxi showed up.
It was about a 20 minute drive to Cathwel where we were greeted at the door by ... my head was spinning but I think it was one of the directors..she said something about one of the babies having the flu so we would meet Cooper...that is all I remember... so we went upstairs, took off our shoes in the hallway and a woman was holding the hand of a little boy... it was him!!!
The woman holding his hand was his Nannie that cared for him all the time.. I could tell she was very upset. She did not speak English but another woman, who told us she was our helper (she did all our paperwork, went to the court, will meet us at AIT on Wednesday..etc)said that the Nannie was sad. I can understand the mixed emotions a caregiver for a child goes through. The Nannie had a bag packed for him with all his stuff and they included this beautiful book about Taiwan so that he could see where he came from when he gets older. They also returned all the toys that we had sent him and his clothes. The kept telling Cooper, that is your mommy and your daddy and he kept telling them no!! LOL
He warmed up to Jay right away, after Jay bribed him with a toy car that had a button that made noise! But he really didn't want anything to do with me at first.
After talking to our helper lady for about 20 minutes I asked if we needed to fill out any paperwork.. she said no so we packed up and left.
We had sent the taxi driver away as we thought we would be there for a few hours, like our adoption in China, so we found another taxi and headed to the zoo.
The Taiwan zoo was given two panda bears as a gift from China and I was told by Jeb, Mia's dad, that these panda bears came from the county that Ali came from... which made me think that when we were in China at the zoo they had two baby pandas... they could be the same!!
Well the zoo was wonderful and beautiful and I bribed Cooper with a panda ice cream!! He drank from a straw (he was still on a bottle but I did not give it to him but had him drinking from cups!) which was cute as he didn't quite understand it but within a few tries he had it completely figured out!!
Then we took the subway back to our hotel!! It was such a neat experience!!
We came up to the room and changed his pants, put all the stuff from Cathwel and then headed out to McDonald's for our first meal together! This is when Cooper decided I wasn't so bad.. I had to bribe him with a cheeseburger and fries!!
After this Li Ling picked us up and took us to some shops so we could buy the baby some stuff. Li Ling had already bought him a jacket and a hat (it is a bit cold here right now)so we just walked and looked around at the many items and shops.
We had Cooper in his stroller, which is low to the ground and many shop owners have dogs in their stores.. COOPER HATES DOGS!! He is so scared of them, screaming when they are within ten feet! So Mia and I had to keep on the lookout for animals while Jay would steer him away!! It was a game!!
After HOURS of walking and looking, Li Ling and Jeb came back to get us and took us to the most unique place for dinner. I will have to have Jeb tell me the name and address so that families that come after us can go to this place... it was great food. For those of you that live in Florida we have a restaurant called The Melting Pot were you cook your fondue at the table. This place was along that line only you "BBQ'd" at the table. They had small fire pits and they cooked all the meat you could eat, pork, beef, shrimp, fish... right there. I am not sure if the "waiter" usually stayed to help but our guy stood at the table the whole time talking to us and helping us cook our food!! IT WAS SOOOOO GOOD! Cooper ate like a champ. He favors his right arm very much and does not try to use it at all. I put a plate in front of him to see if he would feed himself but he didn't. So between Jay, LiLing and I we filled his little belly full!! He ate everything we gave him except Li Ling gave him a bit of her fish jaws and that stayed in his mouth for long time.. in fact I had to use my finger to pull it out.. he didn't want to swallow!! LOL
By now it was 9:30 PM and every one's eyes were so heavy.. but our tour guides had one last wonderful plan for us.. another foot massage!! These foot massages are very cheap here and they have cards for certain places around their home.. so Jeb dropped Mia, Jay, Cooper and I off and we sat in chairs while our feet were brought back to life. Cooper sat on my lap and started to snuggle- I know he was tired but I felt like he was starting to trust me also!!
Then back to our hotel where we put on PJ's and hit the bed. We laid him between us where we don't have a crib.. and he held my hand for comfort.. I think I fell asleep first as the last I looked at him his big brown eyes were still very big!!
So now it is almost 4:30 AM again and here I sit watching him sleep!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

We made it!

We fially got here! After a turbulant 14 hour flight from LA, we made it to Taiwan. Mia and her dad were waiting for us and we were all very happy and excited to see each other, it was easy to find them, they were the only Taiwanese people wearing Florida Gator shirts!! They took us to our hotel, which is absolutely awesome! We are staying at The Grand Forward Hotel, which from the outside didn't look like anything spectacular, but once inside, we were thrilled to be staying here. The room is huge! We have 2 queen beds in a very spacious room, a big walk-in closet, marble bathroom with a tub and seperate shower built for 3, we couldn't be more thrilled, Jeb and Li Ling did great, plus we are only a few minutes from their home and shopping! After getting settled in and taking a much needed, refreshing shower, we were off to sightsee with our Taiwan family. We went to Mia's house for a Taiwan breakfast and then traveling around town. We went to a temple, a concert hall, Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, shopping in Taipei which included a massage and lunch, and more sightseeing, and finally hanging out at he night market. We'll be going back to the night market a time or two before we leave. If you've never heard of it, in a nutshell it is people, lots of food, shopping, and more people. We had a great day! Thank you Jeb, Li Ling, and Mia! Right now we are getting our last minutes things ready, so we can go get Cooper. The moment we have been waiting for is only a few hours away! Talk to you later, next update will have pictures of Cooper!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


I am just AMAZED at what the adoption community has done for us!!! I was so stressed out on Sunday night and wasn't sure what I was going to do!! Thank you so much Patty and Judy for posting for us on Loving Chinas Children! I promise to all of you that I will pay it forward as soon as everything is back to normal around here!
God Bless All of YOU!!!!
Ginnie and Jay